Being disabled and a woman I get lots of questions, most of them from complete strangers who have no regard for my feelings and purely want to satiate their curiosity. More often than not, they are what most would deem “inappropriate questions.”
Common questions like “what happened to you?” or “can you have sex?” are just the tip of the iceberg. It is annoying to me that people are more comfortable prying into my life purely based on my disability, but it’s not surprising. We have grown up dehumanizing people with differences and have been doing it for years, just look at freak shows.
When I was first injured and I would go out to the bars men would often directly ask me, “Can you have sex?” To which I would reply, “NO! When I broke my neck my vagina sealed up like a Barbie doll!”
It would take their drunk minds a moment to process it was a joke, and not much longer for them to be buying me a drink for being so stupid. The other question I’d get while out was after someone rudely asked what happened and were informed it was a diving accident they would follow with, “Were you drunk?” That used to irritate me, so I’d respond, “Why? Because then you think I deserve this or just telling yourself why it won’t happen to you?” The faces I would get, I hit the nail on the head. I’m not here for your f’ing entertainment, I’m not your freak show.
This type of intrusive questioning often keeps people from putting themselves out there. In response to my last article, I had somebody say they were not a fan of dating apps because they got inappropriate questions. I asked them what they considered to be inappropriate questions, and they responded that a woman had inquired as to whether or not his penis worked. I had to ask myself, what do I consider inappropriate questions? The answer to that is, practically none…and that is primarily based on the fact I can take control of the situation and not allow people to intrude in my life.
We are all curious people. I am definitely no different, I know I have an inquisitive mind and I can’t blame people for having an inquisitive mind as well. I’m guilty of asking intrusive questions, so I don’t judge. I don’t get bothered by people asking questions, it’s how they ask. Some questions are just rude.
I’ll never forget in my early days when a guy asked me if I had a “cold pussy” to which I replied, “Nope, guess you’ll have to fulfill your necrophilia fetish elsewhere!” I deserve the same respect my able-bodied counterparts get. That being said, I don’t get angry when people ask intrusive questions because I control the flow of information and the response.
I am prepared for stupid questions and that is empowering. When I was newly injured I went to see a therapist to proactively address issues that would arise. I explained to him how I hated the intrusive questions and he said,
“What do you want to say in response? You need to have a response ready so you take back control.”
That was the most empowering advice I got. Week after week he would prepare me for the inevitable, and now I have a plethora of responses I’m excited to use. Prepare yourself and you’ll feel empowered.
Just know, people have questions.
If you aren’t getting on dating sites because you don’t want the questions, you’re doing yourself a disservice. It’s great practice for the real world because you truly are in control of the situation online. You can block someone. Also, all of these people who are offended when someone asks about sex. HELLO! They’re asking because they’re thinking about what it’s like to have sex with you! If anything, take it as a compliment and respond however you want, even if you tell them to piss off.
So, the moral of the story is, you control the flow of information and have more control than you probably realize when someone asks an intrusive question. Don’t let people’s curiosity hold you back, there’s a beautiful world out there with some pretty incredible humans.
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